Liverpool 0 v West Ham 0
Author: Matthew Kirk. Published: 30 January 2016 at 9:31pm
West Ham drew even at Liverpool today 0-0 in the fourth round of the FA cup. Liverpool, coming off both a thrilling 5-4, last minute, Premier League win against Norwich City and a mid-week League Cup victory against Stoke City, which featured a penalty kick shoot out, entered today’s match with a very exhausted first team. Jurgen Klopp elected to start an entire new side for this match, with ten different field players from the Stoke victory.
Slaven Bilic, looking for his third victory against the Reds since August, fielded more of his traditional starting XI for the Anfield meeting. Darren Randoph took over goal keeping duties for Adrian, who has reportedly journeyed to Seville for the birth of his child.
Possibly West Ham supporters entered this match feeling that their strengthened squad would dominate this Liverpool shadow team, similar to the West Ham/ Nottingham Forest disaster two years ago, however Liverpool’s scrappy side showed great form in the opening half.
Early in the match Cameron Brannagan had a free kick outside the box and looked for Christian Benteke but he couldn’t get around Ogbanna and Randolph was able to gather it up. In the 35th Brannagan had another good chance, striking from 25 yards out, and Randolph’s diving efforts sent the ball wide.
West Ham really didn’t find too many chances during the opening half, despite the presence of Payet and Valencia. The closest first half opportunity was during the added time when Obiang took a long strike which barely missed outside the far side of the post.
During the first half, James Tomkins suffered another cut to the head while challenging for a header. He was replaced by Joey OBrien, making a rare appearance and returning from injury. Jelevic was also brought on for Kouyate to provide the Hammers with a second forward.